How AA values various awards and upgrades...

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Aktchi, May 31, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    While searching for a US-Asia award, months in future, I came across an interesting situation:

    Both F and J cabins are practically empty. All revenue buckets fully available. Seating chart shows 1-2 occupied seats. Here is the premium cabin SAAver award / upgrade availability:

    First - MileSAAver Award Z6
    First - Upgrade A7
    Business - MileSAAver Award U0
    Business - Upgrade C4

    Now doesn't that U0 stick out? :)

    I have long felt that Business Class SAAver award offers the best value to the customer. Apparently AA agrees because its RM sees other awards/upgrades as better deal for itself, the seller.
     
  2. sukn
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    sukn Silver Member

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    AAnytime awards are theoretically irrelevant to this discussion since they book into any available seat in the cabin.
     
  3. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Easy solution: book a First seat. ;)
     
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  4. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    Both very good points.

    sukn: AAnytime awards got included only due to cut and paste. :) I agree that this can be confusing, so I have edited them out. The story here is SAAvers and Upgrades.

    tommy777: Can't deny that it would be very nice simply to forget all the rest and just book F. :)
     
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  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    This is the correct course of action. :)
     
  6. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Doesn't really have anything to do with value to the customer.

    It's more related to
    1. what American thinks it might sell for cash
    2. not discouraging the purchase of said ticket by someone that might use miles

    American doesn't want to displace revenue with saver awards. And in this case they would rather hold back the inventory for sale than offer it on points. Independent of the value to the end user.

    And agreed, just redeem for F :)
     
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  7. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    Yes I'd agree that AA's primary motivation is not to spite the customers. :) However, it is a 2 party trade and while both's interest lie in some deal being made, they'd differ on details. In particular what one party gets from the other, the other obviously doesn't get to keep for itself.

    In this case both AA and I felt that while F seats are better, J seats offer better value by combining comfort and affordability. I want that value for myself; AA wants it for itself in order to sell it for cash to others. There is no such tussle over F, where availability remains F7 and Z6, and people are not exactly lapping them up. :)
     
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  8. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    I guess you two probably have as much F experience as I am likely to find anywhere, so please allow me to ask you a question. My wife and I are going to fly ORD-NRT, something we have done many times on AA. Other carriers that fly this route nonstop are JL, UA, and NH. If I wanted to try a different carrier (F or J), which one or two of these would you recommend?
     
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  9. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    I'd rank them NH, JL, UA, AA

    NH is the best food. Service and amenities are better than the others, too.

    UA's seat is better than AA's, IMHO. Entertainment system, too. Though I prefer AA's food, personally.
     
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  10. whkento
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    whkento Gold Member

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    FWIW... I've flown trans-pacific (ORD_NRT) with JAL in J several times (with 2 kids) and have been VERY pleased. Enough to pay the extra cash / miles to keep on flying with them. I highly recommend them. I have also heard that NH is wonderful, though can't confirm this personally. I can't comment at all about F on any airline, unfortunately.
     
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  11. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    My only argument with gleff is that I'd rate UA below AA. NH is the hands down winner for me, in all respects.
     
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  12. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Confirmed. My JAL experience in J was fantastic. Would definitely fly them over AA.
     
  13. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    This best value for your miles is some type of premium class international ticket.
     
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  14. JALPak
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    JALPak Gold Member

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    You need to try JAL F, it's AMAZING~ :D It's much better than JAL C :)
     
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  15. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    I just flew CX ORD-HKG in J. It was fantastic. I suppose their F must be better, but I was so pleased with J that I'd just save the miles. I realize CX is not an option for ORD-NRT direct, but having just flown them, wanted to add this observation.

    As in other walks of like, it is interesting to note how a great team (CX) performs as opposed to a mediocre team that has a few great members (AA). On AA flights I am often trying to identify a few employees who deserve AApreciation slips. On CX, even the thought would have seemed ridiculous. The entire cabin crew seemed to work together seamlessly like a perfect ensemble; I wouldn't even think of singling any one person.
     
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  16. JALPak
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    JALPak Gold Member

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    Having flown AA transcon J, JL long/medium haul F and CX regional F in the past 2 weeks, I would say they are all great, even with AA J.

    AA also has a different style of service. CX FAs tend to leave you alone after meal service in F, I had to use the call button for more service. While on JAL F, the CAs constantly checked with me to see if I need more drinks or something to eat when they found out I was awake but are more formal/professional than CX and AA's FAs. While AA's is very friendly, attentive and will joke with you too. Maybe I was just lucky to have a good AA FA. But they are all great and I wouldn't mind to have any of them although I still prefer JAL's service obviously :rolleyes: :p
     
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